BOGNOR’S ‘Beach on the Beach’ attraction will return next summer after proving to be a ‘rip-roaring success’ this year.
The sandpit, on the seafront, was used by up to 160 people on a busy day, drawing an average of 43 children and 25 adults per day.
Bognor Regis regeneration sub-committee agreed the return of the facility next year, with hopes to add a further sandpit to build on the success.
Chairman Phil Hitchins said: “It is £40,000 well spent. It has been popular.
“What I would like to see is some form of seating within that, if we can get that between the two (sandpits). When you have got young mothers coming down they don’t want to stand all the time.”
Director for planning and economic regeneration Karl Roberts said the amount of maintenance members wanted to build in to the £40,000 budgeted for the lifetime of the project would affect the level of upgrades which could be afforded.
The committee voted to build in up to four years’ maintenance, instead of the up to three years recommended.
Despite this, officers still hope to make improvements.
Among the options discussed was to add additional seating, fixed play equipment and better wayfinding, through possible use of a flag – in order to attract attention from afar.
Mr Hitchins added: “I do find flags very boring and I’m wondering if we could come up with something which is a little bit more exciting. I don’t know what.
“If you are running around with a three or four-year-old they’re not going to say ‘can I run down the promenade and look at the flag’.”
Officers were heartened by the fact just two minor incidents of vandalism were reported, costing around £150 to repair two fence panels.
This was despite their view the attraction was in a potentially ‘vulnerable’ location.
Councillor Jacqui Maconachie praised the project but asked for the sand to be deeper next year.
She was told this would be rectified, along with a new mix of beach and play sand to be used to enable better quality sandcastles.
“Overall it has been a rip-roaring success but it would be quite nice if the sand was a little deeper,” she said.
“You have no idea how much a three-year-old can excavate.”
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